Al­ter­na­tives to the stodgy diet

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH -

My part­ner us­eswin­ter as a great ex­cuse to make more pies, mashed potato and gen­er­ally stodgy food. What are some healthy meal ideas for win­ter, given we’re not so keen on eat­ing sal­ads. Thanks, Heather.

Hi Heather. Many people agree that they find it more dif­fi­cult to choose nour­ish­ing op­tions in the cooler months. That may be be­cause tra­di­tion­ally speak­ing we needed more body fat to help keep us warm from win­ter chills.

These days though, it’s rel­a­tively easy to make nour­ish­ing food in the win­ter, us­ing beau­ti­ful spice/herb bases, onion, gar­lic, olive oil, good qual­ity/or prefer­ably home-made stock as a base in a slow-cooker and you’re away.

Add ad­di­tional nour­ish­ment to casseroles, stews, soups and cur­ries with dif­fer­ent kinds of veg­eta­bles such as ar­ti­chokes, fen­nel, through to spinach, kale, sil­ver­beet – and pump­kin and ku­mara. It is easy and de­li­cious to amp up the veg­etable con­tent of how you eat through­out the win­ter months.

In­cor­po­rat­ing cau­li­flower into potato (or re­plac­ing it if that suits your di­etary needs bet­ter) is a won­der­ful way to sneak the power of bras­si­cas into your meals. It can also be used to make cau­li­flower rice.

Red lentil dhal, tagines, soups, slow cooked casseroles, curry, even a beau­ti­ful roasted veg­etable frittata are all great and nour­ish­ing op­tions when good qual­ity in­gre­di­ents and plenty of veg­eta­bles are used. The leftovers are an added ben­e­fit for lunch the next day or freeze leftovers so you have a nour­ish­ing op­tion on hand for a later time.

A lentil dhal is a won­der­ful al­ter­na­tive to stodgy win­ter food.

I’mtry­ing not to drink as much cof­fee but don’t re­ally like hot choco­lates. What are some nour­ish­ing al­ter­na­tiveswhen you need awarm­ing drink? Kind re­gards, Fran

Hi Fran. Here are some al­ter­na­tives:


Dan­de­lion root herbal tea is a won­der­ful al­ter­na­tive for people who like cof­fee, it has the same body and bit­ter­ness as cof­fee, but it’s an herbal blend that usu­ally con­sists of roasted dan­de­lion root and and chicory.

Dan­de­lion helps to ease fluid re­ten­tion in the body plus, it can help sup­port ef­fi­cient liver detox­i­fi­ca­tion path­ways. It makes a de­li­cious caf­feine-free cof­fee al­ter­na­tive, par­tic­u­larly when you add frothed milk of your choice and cin­na­mon. Ad­mit­tedly this isn’t an op­tion you’re go­ing to be able to buy from any cafe but a great op­tion to make at home or work. If you fre­quent a cafe reg­u­larly and it be­comes a sta­ple for you, sug­gest they add it to their menu!


A chai tea is a lovely warm­ing


Gin­ger tea is a rem­edy for many ail­ments, es­pe­cially stom­ach up­sets as it acts as a di­ges­tive aid and helps to dis­pel gas. A warm­ing herb with an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties, turmeric also sup­ports ef­fi­cient liver detox­i­fi­ca­tion.


Chamomile, liquorice and pep­per­mint, for ex­am­ple, all make a great hot choco­late/cof­fee or even tea al­ter­na­tive. Liquorice tea is par­tic­u­larly nice if you find your­self crav­ing some­thing sweet.

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